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Connecting the dots: understanding the domestic and family violence experiences of children and young people with disability within and across sectors - final report

Trauma Residential care People with disability Family violence Victims of family violence Violence against children Australia
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Connecting the dots 4.65 MB

Children with disability require urgent policy attention and trauma-informed responses to their experiences of domestic and family violence (DFV).

This research report examines the perspectives of children, their families and workers to understand their priorities and service needs. This research identifies how policies and systems can be more child informed to create better responses for children with disability experiencing domestic and family violence. Children and young people showed signs of trauma as a result of their experiences of DFV and were found to know more about the violence they were exposed to than many adults assume.

Children, young people, families and practitioners who participated in the research shared their experiences of being on support service waitlists for up to a year, barriers to securing support from government agencies and financial assistance, fear of harm during a violent parent’s access visits with children, and the discontinuity of care when service providers fail to turn up to appointments.

These issues tell a story of a system that is not meeting the needs of children with disability experiencing violence and are evidence of the urgent need for policy attention from all levels of government. Participants also identified what effective service delivery could look like, naming a number of attributes such as practitioner consistency, flexible use of supports and disability-informed practice.

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Research report 17/2022